URGENT ACTION NEEDED!! Nestle Waters Canada – Permit to take Water renewal bid. Deadline is March 5, so please act NOW!

Click Here for Wellington Water Watchers press release

Nestle Waters Canada Permit to Take Water

Nestle Waters Canada has applied for an unprecedented 10 year permit extension to take 3.6 million litres of water per day at the Aberfoyle site.  We strongly oppose this permit for the reasons stated in the attached document, Wellington Water Watchers Technical Submission. Please feel free to use these comments for your own submission which can be copied into the following Ministry of Environment Comment Link – http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/searchComment.do?actionType=add&noticeId=MTEyMjA2&statusId=MTY4MzIw&noticeHeaderIdString=MTEyMjA2. Or use the short points listed below to help you make your case to the Ministry.

Please note we have requested a much needed extension to this comment period but currently comments must be in on or before March 5.  Your comments are critical to letting the Ministry of Environment know about your concerns.

The Wellington Water Watchers is a not-for-profit organization and your financial support is much appreciated and funds are needed to support this and other important campaigns.

Thank you!

Short Points

Wellington Water Watchers opposes this application because:
· The amount of groundwater in our Grand River watershed is not known. Allowing large-volume water taking is like writing blank cheques on a bank account with an unknown balance.

· Water is too valuable a resource to be given away – and that’s virtually what our province does by charging Nestlé and others a mere $3.71 for every million litres taken.

· In 2010, Nestlé paid just $2,238 for over 600 million litres of water taken from Mill Creek in Aberfoyle. This works out to about .0000004 cents per litre, a far cry from the true value of such a priceless resource.

· Environmental harm being done. The millions of litres taken weekly are put into single-use, disposable plastic bottles. The industry claims 60% of these bottles are recycled – as what? – but that still means hundreds of millions every year become litter, or trash in our landfills. We call this a permit to pollute.

· There are no water conservation measures built into this renewal permit. The volume of water taken should be decreased annually to encourage water conservation. This is one of the principles of Ontario’s new Water Opportunities Act.

· We believe that water taking is harming Mill Creek. There are no brook trout in the stretch of creek that runs beside the bottling plant, but there are trout in the rest of the creek. Is so much water being taken that it is preventing spring water from upwelling into the stream-bed? Until this is resolved, a precautionary approach should be taken.

· The applicant has asked for an unprecedented 10-year water-taking permit. Yet we have no idea how drought or climate change will affect Guelph’s water supply in years to come. At most, any new permit should be issued for three years or less.

· Much of the water when bottled leaves the Grand River watershed. Justice Dennis O’Connor’s report on the Walkerton tragedy recommended that water be managed on a watershed basis. Nestlé and others should be required to use glass, deposit-bearing bottles that are sold only within the Grand River watershed.

39 Comments to URGENT ACTION NEEDED!! Nestle Waters Canada – Permit to take Water renewal bid. Deadline is March 5, so please act NOW!

  1. Mike Hayward's Gravatar Mike Hayward
    February 23, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Agreed. 10 years is too long a permit. Nestle does take too much, giving too little in return.
    There are a lot of questions about how this affects the area’s watershed and potential impacts on well water quality left unanswered.
    A 10 year contract gives power to a corporation and away from the people and habitat.
    Research and shorter contracts are needed at the very least.
    The only potential added harm is to the company’s pockets if there is more to this that what is already revealed. If harm is revealed, they are only stopped from doing something that shouldn’t be done anyways helping with environmental damage control.

    Look back 10 years from now and look at the way we lived. What if we were only able to make changes to the way we do things at 10 year intervals? Maybe we’d be watching Hummers stroll by for another 5 years before we could opt for something better.

    10 years seems unfair.

  2. February 24, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Please leave the water alone as you know deep down its wrong and your children will thank you later for following your gut instinct, and realizing that this is backwards logic and there’s more to life than the bottom line.

  3. Stu's Gravatar Stu
    February 24, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Hi there,

    I’m writing in regard to Nestle Water Canada’s request to renew it’s contract in the Aberfoyle region for the next 10 years, and frankly I’m concerned to the point of distress. As someone who has likely read countless notes expressing similar concern, I’m sure you’ve probably grown tired of hearing about this issue. However, I’ve grown tired of time and time again seeing the public wellbeing of people totally disregarded in favor of twisted corporate interest. Accepting the renewal of this contract would undoubtedly destroy the water security of those of us who depend on the Grand River watershed. And for what? $3.71 for every million liters taken by Nestle so that they can turn around and sell little toxic plastic bottles at the most exorbitant profit margin anyone has ever seen? Water is without a doubt our most sacred and important life force. How can we let it be degraded into a commodity, a ridiculous product that testifies to the absurdity of the capitalist system?

    Please Environment Canada, think about what’s best for the environment, and Canada.

    Thank you for listening.

  4. Deborah Murray's Gravatar Deborah Murray
    February 25, 2011 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Plastic bottles in my view are harmful to everyone! They create more trash and more chemicals are produced to make them. I feel these days that the statistics of illnesses are rising partially because we are consuming more chemicals in both our foods and water. What good will the water be if Nestle ends up taking it from our watershed and turning it into unhealthy drinking water covered in plastic? Nestle needs to stop focusing on money and business and turn their attention to the environment around them! Money may be running the economy, but water runs the environment which is our home!!!

  5. Darlene Lamb's Gravatar Darlene Lamb
    February 25, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Please think hard and long about this issue…do NOT give permission for a 10 year permit!!!
    Why does it seem, that WE, The People often only get hours notice before something is a done deed.

    Who actually is pulling the puppets’ strings here? Does anyone actually have any honest intentions with regards to Human Life?

  6. February 25, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    “As Indigenous Peoples, we raise our voices in solidarity to speak for the protection of Water. The Creator placed us on this earth, each in our own sacred and traditional lands, to care for all of creation. We stand united to follow and implement our knowledge, laws and self-determination to preserve Water, to preserve life.” Indigenous Declaration on Water, July/August 2001, British Columbia, Canada

    Surely, locally, we must respect the sacredness of water and protect it for our future! 10 years free access is wrong, immoral, irresponsible! Stop the madness!

  7. Marion Herron's Gravatar Marion Herron
    February 25, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    I am appalled that Nestle or any corporation, whose only
    interest is $$, be allowed to take our most precious resource just “willynilly” how they wish. This whole southern Ontario water basin filters from headwaters of many rivers into the Great Lakes. No one person or company should have so much power over such a resource. They can’t pay enough money to take it away.
    We HAVE TO take care of this resource – we’ve done a pretty awaful job of taking care of our other resources -
    farmland (paved over); trees (clear cut); air (polluted) and
    now take all our water. I say NO!!

  8. Richard Chaloner's Gravatar Richard Chaloner
    February 25, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    There has been insufficient study to justify water taking of this magnitude. Ten years is far too long a time to commit our water resource to one large commercial user. Guelph has been designated a growth area under places to grow and will need all the ground water available. Although this taking is outside the current city boundary, in order to supply the larger city mandated by the province it will be necessary to access wells in the surrounding area including Aberfoyle.
    The uncertainty of the impact of climate change also makes any committment over two years very unwise and not in the public interest.
    It simply makes no sense to be shipping our water to distant communities with all the additional polution that will entail when it is clear lthat we will need it to meet our own future requirements.

  9. Peter Kofler's Gravatar Peter Kofler
    February 26, 2011 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    10 years is far too long a renewal period for an organization that’s proven itself to be an adversary to the environment and, by extension, to communities in watersheds where its water-extraction operations are/have been located.

    Water is not a commodity, it is first and foremost an ecosystemic right. This will become abundantly clear in the coming decades, given current trends in climate change, pollution and exceedance of ecological limits to growth.

    The onus should be on the corporation to prove no harm from its operations – precautionary principle, in the end must prevail. As local water tables approach carrying capacity, it becomes even more necessary to reduce water extraction contract extension periods, as their changing impacts obviously need to be constantly monitored, frequently reviewed and adjusted accordingly to minimize harm to all residents of the watershed, including nonhumans.

  10. Theresa Moher's Gravatar Theresa Moher
    February 27, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    How can we do this? Nestle is one of the richest companies on the planet. To practically give away our precious resource, water, is a crime. Please don’t let this happen.

  11. Earlla Vickers's Gravatar Earlla Vickers
    February 28, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    No you may not take our water.

  12. Earlla Vickers's Gravatar Earlla Vickers
    February 28, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    To Nestle Corporation: No you make not take our water.

  13. Chris Young's Gravatar Chris Young
    February 28, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    The only benefit bottled water is providing to anyone in Canada at least is profit for the bottlers. No one needs to be drinking it, and the net damage done by the large water taking and the bottling process is obscene. This permit should be shortened (it should be denied) And for sure Nestle should be mandated to use a glass, deposit based bottle.

  14. March 1, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Ten years is too long for a renewal permit. There are too many unknowns, including the amount of water that is being taken from our Grand River watershed, the harm it may be doing to the Mill Creek, the future need for more water by our community due to increasing population and climate change, the environmental consequences of the transfer of water from one bioregion to another, and the environmental costs of bottling water. Water is a blessing meant for all. It should not be sold as a commodity. If it must be sold, Nestle needs to be paying much more for the water than they do, so that the community can have a greater benefit from commodifying such a blessing.

  15. Nhi Nguyen's Gravatar Nhi Nguyen
    March 2, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    I agree with the objection of the Wellington water watches.
    Please do not give permission to Nestle’ to take and bottle water.
    Ten years is to long and way to much. They take up to 3.6 million litres of water per day from the Grand River Watershed. We have to pay for a huge recycling and waste issue for tens of million of plastic bottle used annually by Nestle’ to sell water.
    3.6 million litres of water per day will be reduce by at least 5 percent per year, and Farmer don’t have enough water to use. Every year we have to reduce the use water for our lawn. Why do we let Nestle’ take 3.6 million litres of our water per day ?
    To build a sustainable future,we must live differently.

  16. Daniel Leavey's Gravatar Daniel Leavey
    March 2, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Watch this movie. It tells you what’s coming!


  17. Dawn Reynolds's Gravatar Dawn Reynolds
    March 2, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    No, to Nestle taking our waters which will be necessary for the city of Guelph in the coming years.
    No, to Nestle for turning water into a profit rather than an accessible right for local citizens and animals.
    No, to Nestle for their continuing exploitation of the environment of our planet.
    No, to Nestle for thinking they can get away with their greed.

  18. Steven Lidkea's Gravatar Steven Lidkea
    March 2, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    To put this water extraction in easy-to-understand terms, it is roughly equivalent to a Puslinch Lake every year and a half.

  19. James Wilkes's Gravatar James Wilkes
    March 2, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    I am concerned about Nestlé Waters Canada’s application for a 10 year permit extension to take 3.6 million litres of water per day at the Aberfoyle site. It is absurd that private corporations such as Nestlé are charged so little for such a valuable public necessity. In 2010, Nestlé paid just $2,238 for more than 600 million litres of water taken from Mill Creek in Aberfoyle. This works out to merely 0.0000004 cents per litre. What are the ecological and social consequences of taking so much water and removing it from the region? Further studies should be conducted regarding the health of Mill Creek and the surrounding watershed prior to considering Nestlé’s application. Furthermore, the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation must first be consulted regarding their rights under Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, as well as the Haldimand Treaty of 1784.

  20. March 2, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Preserve our great resource of fresh water. Do not give it away to Nestle. Ever.

  21. Jessica Sgrignoli's Gravatar Jessica Sgrignoli
    March 3, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    I am a concerned citizen. How can the Ministry of Environment see Nestlé Canada’s request for a 10-year water permit in Guelph as a good thing? What could be more important than preserving our precious water, and keeping plastic bottles out of our landfill, and away from the animals that accidentally consume it through the food chain- which eventually ends up in our systems.

    Nestlé Waters Canada has requested an unprecedented 10-year extension on its current permit of up to 3.6 million litres per day, an equivalent of nearly one and a half Olympic size swimming pools per day and a total of up to 1.314 billion litres per year. How does this not sound proposterous!! How could the benefits outweight the negative consequences? We have arrived at a critical time in history, please make the right decision for the people. Nestle cannot bully the community like this, and the ministry of environment needs to step in and speak up on the citizens behalf. This is enough already.

    Please be fair!

  22. Rejean Quesnelle's Gravatar Rejean Quesnelle
    March 3, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Water is not a commodity for sale like gold. It is a human requirement for survival as it is for all animals. Water is something we all need and therefore should not have a price tag. Clean water should be a right we all have as humans and selling it off to be bottled and create waste is not something I agree with. Please keep it unbottled and kept as a municipal asset and not for a corporation to utilize until its gone.

  23. paula eagles's Gravatar paula eagles
    March 4, 2011 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    Resources essential to human, animal and environmental survival should NEVER be under the control of private interests …
    Since “money talks”, lets speak their language … BOYCOTT

  24. Johan Bouwer's Gravatar Johan Bouwer
    March 5, 2011 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    No. Period. Nestle must not take more water, and I propose that they are kept to the same level and in addition must pay a fee for every litre pumped out of the ground.

    How come that multinational companies can take something for free, something that belongs to all of us, just becuase they own a piece of land where the recource is located? NO. The resources to belong the people of the world and thus we decide.

  25. Ludy Carter's Gravatar Ludy Carter
    March 5, 2011 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I did the math on the quantity of water that would be taken from the watershed in 10 years, and it is roughly the equivalent of 6 Puslinch Lakes. How much yelling and screaming would there be if Puslinch Lake vanished off the face of the planet in 2 years? Nestle will try putting all sorts of spin on this application, and will donate some money to local causes to try to make themselves look like a responsible corporate citizen. Business is all about the bottom line, and the bottom line here is that we are being robbed blind of an irreplaceable natural resource. No amount of corporate bafflespeak can change that. Why should we have to try so hard to convince our government to act responsibly on this issue? This should be blatantly obvious.

  26. bernadette's Gravatar bernadette
    March 5, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    do not take our water
    leave the aquafir alone
    your bottles are littering our land
    contract for 10 years too long
    needs analysis required often for the affected area and not just when big business wants something
    Southern Ontario growing and we need our water
    Nestle wants it bad… because it is such a great profit making venture for them… doesn’t that tell you something.

    stop the permit
    concerned citizen

  27. Anna Kroetsch's Gravatar Anna Kroetsch
    March 5, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    I find it offensive that the water that we use and play in in this area should be used by such a terrible multinational corporation. Canada has a lot to give (land and otherwise) but consider respecting this resource. We will not give this resource away to such a company…ever!

  28. mike darmon's Gravatar mike darmon
    March 23, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Please note we have requested a much needed extension to this comment period and have been assured that all comments will be accepted up until April 12. 2011. Your comments are critical to letting the Ministry of Environment know about your concerns.

  29. Mike Nagy's Gravatar Mike Nagy
    March 25, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    FYI. The deadline for comments for the Nestle permit via the email link provided on the action page is April 15 at the earliest. Any new information will be accepted and considered up to the decision date for the Nestle Permit. Mr Challinor made a false statement to the Wellington Advertiser that comments received past March 5th would not be considered while well knowing that comments will be considered up to or past April 15th.

  30. anita miskolczi's Gravatar anita miskolczi
    March 28, 2011 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    i feel the connections with nestle’s is an inside money – take for the city’s pocket..whether they speak of it or not.

    it sure has no advantage or well being for anyone else here, for a co.to take tons of water that first of all should not be a commodity to sell-and 2nd;should not be taken from the communities source…and for what does the average citizen gain over city taxes..the pleasure of having their water supply constantly ravaged?
    privatization on water rights??is this the next step.??

  31. anita miskolczi's Gravatar anita miskolczi
    March 28, 2011 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    i decided to not submit the above comment that i submitted for moderation..so do NOT put it on your site..it is only an opinion,and its not based on any known facts..all the best in your endeavors.
    not sure what permalink is either.

  32. Julie Stalford's Gravatar Julie Stalford
    March 29, 2011 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    3,600,000 litres per day x 365 days per year = 1,314,000,000 litres per year. That reads “1 billion 3 hundred and 14 million litres per year.”

    10 year permit:

    1,314,000,000 litres per year x 10 years = 13,140,000,000 litres in 10 years. Say it out loud now,
    “ 13 billion 1 hundred and 40 million litres of Guelph water taken in 10 years “ (approximately).

    Kind of leaves a bitter taste doesn’t it? I don’t understand how anyone can consciously allow this to happen. It’s like letting an assailant use and abuse someone that is near and dear to you. Would you allow that to happen to someone you love? Would you not step in and help? Intervene? do everything within your power to protect the one you love? Exactly. But that’s the problem, the Power. Those that ‘be’ aren’t using their power for good, but for the almighty ‘dollar’, the Corporation. Guelph is a flourishing community and Wellington County is a gem in its own right. We need to sustain its vitality and protect its longevity. We have to fight for the protection of our water resources. These were God-given to us, and you do not have the right to take that away from us and squander it for profit. You may as well be prostituting our natural resources for a negotiated fee.

    You can’t put a price on any natural resource, they are immeasurable to their relevance for life itself. It’s a sad day when the people must rise to protect what is becoming a very precious and scarce resource, water.

  33. April 11, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    13 billion litres is about 15 billion dollars retail, and we are charging them what?

    Why doesn’t the City open it’s own plant, using corn bottles, and then we all won’t have to pay taxes for the rest of our lives…

  34. April 11, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Few things evoke more fear or anger in me than the corporate ownership of ground water, or the corporate ownership of seed fertility.

    It will lead to starvation, death, disease, riots and a collapse of the world as we know it. There is a better way. Community stewardship, and giving equal voting rights to Nature herself.

  35. Jay's Gravatar Jay
    August 3, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Our well is getting really low, we are looking at costs to try to drill deeper if possible.
    Is anyone planning or preparing for a class action lawsuit when our wells dry up?
    Does anyone know where I can find information on who is responsible for the Nestle contract?

  36. Noella Witte's Gravatar Noella Witte
    October 22, 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Every time I see a water bottle I cringe. The entire process is corrupt. The same pure wonderful water comes out of our taps. We need to make drinking water out of plastic bottles as uncomfortable to consumers as wearing fur has become for fashion followers. Hit Nestle and its competition in the pocket book. STOP BUYING WATER BOTTLES. In the mean time, 10 years is a an appalling amount of time to drain our aquifers. It is time to face these big corporations rather than bow to their pressure. “Tapped” was a great film. Watch it and learn.

  37. Dave Pavao's Gravatar Dave Pavao
    December 9, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    New to this but, all I have to say is it is a crime what is happening here in Guelph. Our primary source of life being sold out for corporate greed. I encourage everybody to watch the movie blue gold about the coming fresh water shortage and everybody would take this issue less lightly. Others have fought and won, lets do the same rise up and let our voices be heard. It’s a rape of a resource that belongs to the people.Where will nestle be when the water is gone! Back to corporate with all their money and not care what happens to Guelph. This must be stopped !!!!!

  38. Bernadette J.'s Gravatar Bernadette J.
    January 24, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    I would like to know whose signature allows Nestle carte blanche on the Mill Creek water supply. That person needs to watch Blue Gold, Flow, and even Chasing Ice to see that our natural resources are precious and need to be understood on more than just a profit making level before it becomes too late and they become depleted.
    But I doubt the right hand knows what the left hand is doing.
    The Minster of Environment, Peter Kent, will be speaking at Cutten Fields tomorrow (Jan 25th, 2013). I wonder if anyone will ask him his thoughts on this matter. Or, as Canadians, are we too nice to fight for our future generations?

  39. Pamela Richardson's Gravatar Pamela Richardson
    March 11, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    PLEASE let us all, citizens of the world, stand together united against the privatization and corporate theft of our precious water resources. Nestle takes, I believe, over 5 million litres of water each and every day from our groundwater (combining the water takes in Hillsburgh and Aberfoyle). Almost all of the water is apparently shipped out of the Guelph and Wellington area, so it is permanently lost to our watershed. Guelph is unique in Canada, for a city of its size, in being completely dependent on well water for the municipal water supply. No life on earth, flora or fauna, will live without water.